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Essay on “Corruption – Its Causes and Remedies” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Corruption: Its Causes and Remedies

 

The extent, to which corruption may flourish in a particular country, depends largely on the attitude of the public, which in the case of India is one of apathy. In fact public apathy is the unconscious sanction of Governmental corruption. This is, to some extent, due to ignorance, but the prime reason is historical. Since times immemorial, the people of India have been crushed by invaders and in between invasions, they have fared no better under the local Rajahs. Rulers, whether foreign or indigenous, have, with some exceptions, been unconcerned with the behaviour of their officials towards the general public as long as the demands of the State Exchequer were met.

Corruption in public administration is something not peculiar to India. It exists in all the countries, and India is by no means the worst in this respect. Corruption needs only two prerequisites—first, there must be a predisposition on the part of an individual to accept gratification, and second, he must have some discretionary power to affect some sections of the public. When both these factors combine, corruption most prevail. No wonder that the Independent India is a fertile ground for corruption.

The old British system was primarily designed for the maintenance of law and order and the collection of revenue. Now in the Independent India, in addition to its above function, it is oriented to the needs of a developing economy. As a result, the senior officers are heavily burdened with additional work and, therefore, the degree of supervision over their subordinates has decreased. On the other hand, with the expansion of Government functions, the opportunities for corruption have increased. In the districts, the basic structure of administration—the revenue administration—has remained unchanged in almost all the States. The Patwari, who is entrusted with the land records of his circle and can play havoc with the titles and possession of land of the agriculturists, who form nine-tenths of the rural population, wields sufficient power to extract gratifications from his clients. Over the years, the Patwari’s power has increased because of the relaxation of the direct supervision. Even if discrepancies are detected in his records, he generally gets off lightly because of the protection afforded by the service rules.

In the good old days, corruption was confined only to officialdom. But since the dawn of Independence, the non-officials, who have been associated with the administration, have also joined the trade in a big way. The reason for this is not far to seek. In the more advanced democratic countries, most of the non-officials, who join the administration, for their elective terms, are men of integrity, who already have some standing in business or one of the professions. In India, the public men are the people, who are politicians by profession. There are some notable exemptions, no doubt, but the rank and file of politicians consist of gentlemen who have no other ostensible means of livelihood. In India, the only criterion for an average politician is that he should have a loud voice and should be able to speak a lot of nonsense on any subject for any length of time. As this “profession” has vast potentialities in a newly independent country, it has attracted a horde of self-seekers.

The introduction of Panchayati Raj has increased the opportunities for amassing of wealth in a short space of time. The programme, though well intended has not worked the way in which its sponsors had contemplated. Complaints are rife that subsidies and loans are given by the Panchayati Raj Institutions to people as political favours rather than on the basis of actual needs. Very often, no security for the loans is insisted upon, with the result that recovery becomes impossible. The cost of local projects is over-estimated in order to secure a large Government contribution which is normally fifty per cent of the estimated cost. In most cases, the Anti-corruption Departments in the State are the hot beds of corruption. Wherever, the Departments are free from corruption, they are not free from political interference which means an indirect encouragement and protection to the corrupt. These departments specialist in catching the small fish to keep up the facade of departmental efficiency, _ but conveniently drop the big catches which prove too hot to handle, or are just allowed to slip through the net. The political executive keeps the reports of the Anti-corruption Department officials in cold storage till the time is ripe to blackmail them into carrying out its whims under threat of exposure. The Vigilance Commissions, which are in a better position to function freely, merely pass on their findings to the State Governments for suitable action which they seldom take. The result is that the majority of cases come to a dead end. Since Independence, the political executive has systematically taken over the power of the officials and reduced them to mere scapegoats for their own acts of omission and commission. Many cases have come to light, where officials had to take the rap, though it is common knowledge that they had acted under instructions.

The main reasons for the steady growth of corruption in India is the advent of get rich quick professional politicians on the scene. They make hay while the sun shines as also encourage corruption among the officials to suit their own ends. The only remedy, therefore, lies in separating the function of the politicians and the officials. The work of the politicians should be confined to laying down policies and they should not have anything to do with routine day-to-day administration, except to see that the policies laid down are effective. It is also important that eminent men of standing with a spirit of dedications should come forward to replace the professional politicians so as to make for a cleaner administration. There is also need for the Government to give up its penchant for controls. In certain circumstances, controls on the distribution of foodgrains and other essential commodities in short supply are essential but their continuance long after they have outlived their usefulness simply perpetuates corruption. It results in harassment to the public, which is the breeding ground of corruption.

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